(Entry #4, 300 words exactly)
The Russian meteor wasn't just a random space rock. We all knew that. What we didn't know is exactly what made it so exceptional. Yes, it was large. Yes, it was somehow undetected until it hit. Yes, there was anomalous video footage of something hitting it from a strange angle. But what was the underlying, unifying mystery that would tie all these loose threads together and give us a finished tapestry?
Like every significant event, a clear picture emerges only by looking at each thread of its history. In this case, we started with the Tunguska event of 1918 which leveled 1000 square miles of Siberian forest. Forensic analysis indicated that a comet entered the cold Russian atmosphere at several kilometers per second and then exploded with the strength of a hydrogen bomb.
Jumping forward to 2009, a geometric wonder appeared in the Russian sky. The Norway Spiral, as it was dubbed, was explained away as a run-away Russian missile, but few people believed this mundane explanation for such a striking heavenly event.
In February 2013, the world’s eyes were on the skies, tracking the near-Earth approach of DA14, an asteroid that was detected in 2012 and was projected to miss Earth by several thousand miles. And then, literally out of nowhere, the previously unseen Russian object streaked through the cold Russian airspace and exploded, destroying several buildings and injuring 1100 stunned individuals. Like a Jerry Bruckheimer film, this spectacle of destruction terrified an entire country whose scientific and military might was apparently completely unable to detect, let alone defend itself from this onslaught from space.
Were these strange, destructive space events spanning a century related?
Once assembled, the answer was of such dark scope and of such terrible scale as to bury the inquiring timid mind safely in insanity…